Nov. 10, 2003
On Oct. 25, UCLA freshman golfer Chris Heintz qualified for the 2004 Buick Open at Torrey Pines by finishing second in a field of 100 amateurs. Only two spots were available to amateur qualifiers.
Heintz, who turns 19 at the end of November, fired a one-under par 71 at the famed LaJolla layout that will serve as host of the 2008 U.S. Open. The Brea, CA native had never played Torrey Pines, and he qualified without using a caddie.
"All I had was a yardage book," said Heintz. "It was a nice day. There wasn't much wind and I hit the ball pretty well."
Heintz becomes the first UCLA amateur in three years to qualify for participation in a professional tournament. Three years ago, Parker McLachlin qualified for the Sony Open at Waialea Country Club in his home state of Hawaii.
Heintz's stellar play began a collegiate hot streak. A few days later, he tied for second place at the SCU Invitational, and last week he placed ninth at The Prestige.
"I want the Fall season to continue," he said. "I'm playing pretty well."
In 12 rounds this Fall, Heintz boasts a scoring average of 73.8. He has a pair of Top 10 finishes and two rounds under par.
In other UCLA golf news, five former UCLA players will tee it up in the second stage of Tour Qualifying over the next 10 days.
Former UCLA letterman Ben Bost and 1983 Pac-10 individual medallist and All-American Steve Pate will begin their quest for a 2004 PGA Tour card by playing 72 holes at Oak Valley GC in Beaumont. Pate, who enjoyed exempt status for more than 10 years on the regular tour, played on the 1999 Ryder Cup Team that defeated Europe at The Country Club in Brookline, MA.
At the Black Horse Course in Seaside, CA, Nov. 19-22, four former Bruin lettermen also will continue their quest for a PGA Tour card. Former All-Americans B.J. Schlagenhauf and Jay Delsing, along with Ken Tanigawa and Parker McLachlin each hope to advance to the final stage in Florida next month.